I remember the first time I heard the big "sex" talk at a mom's group. All abuzz with chatter, the women complained that their husbands wanted it — all the time! They made these guys sound like locusts, swarming in on their bodies with a voracious lust. Perhaps the obnoxious pawing of one's hand on your breast after an infant or young child has been attached to you ALL DAY LONG doesn't feel romantic, but feels more like a violation of one's own body, privacy and sanity . . .
But me? Well, I left the group in bewilderment wondering why I didn't have a locust at my house. At the time, my former husband, now known as the ex, wasn't pawing at my body because he was mostly ignoring it, unlike years past. My first initial thought was: It's official — I'm not sexy anymore now that I've had a baby cut out of me. But then my logical side kicked in. I hadn't let myself go. I was in good shape, albeit a bit thin from nursing. I was officially perplexed. So I went out to my friends and acquaintances to boldly ask what a woman typically doesn't boldly ask, "How often are you and your partner having sex? Do you want it more than your partner? Less?"
Gay, straight, lesbian. Married. Engaged. Dating. I asked how much "lovin'" was happening at their households. And while the responses varied from the expected to the unexpected, I found out quite a bit. For one, that I was not alone. Some of the females said to me in a hushed tone, "Yeah . . . We never have sex. Do you think it's because of me?"
I spent days, months, and into over a year blogging and chatting with people about why they had sex, and why they didn't. And while I'm no Dr. Ruth, I learned a lot by asking people about their dirty or not-so-dirty truths. Here are a few reasons your partner may be giving you the "Hell, no" response when it comes to sex. And you'll be glad to know that most of the times my friends, it's not because of you.
If your partner is the breadwinner or sole-income earner of the household, the sexual well may run a bit dry. The pressure's on in modern-day America to not only keep up with the Joneses, but to outdo the Joneses. It's not enough anymore to just make your ends meet and save up for the once a year vacation or decent holiday gifts. Now people want their kids to be Ivy League educated by six—ever notice the insane amount of daycares named with "Ivy League in the title?" Every parent wants his or her kid to have the CHILDHOOD OF A LIFETIME. For many people, this is beyond a stretch because most of us are just trying to make it by and save for that "magical" family vacation. Financial pressure and stress kills a sex drive whether you're female or male. Staying up at night wondering, "Will I eat dog food when I'm 80?" is enough to make sexual desire kaput, even if the person was typically "me so horny" all the time.
Neediness of Children
When one parent is the "go-to parent" all the time, that person (often female) is bound to say "No thanks" to getting felt up once the little ones are tucked in. It's hard to consider satisfying someone sexually or yourself, when you constantly cater to the needs of wee kids. Many women said at the end of the night, "They just wanted to be left alone to watch television or float around on Facebook in peace and quiet."
Women are more apt to raise their hands and say, "Zoloft, please," and men are more apt to shy away from help. Is your guy getting out less with friends and family? Is he spending his off time anchored to the couch? Does he seem frequently agitated, or is sleeping or not sleeping more than usual? Depression is directly linked to low sex drive. Unfortunately, men tend to be angry rather than outwardly owning their depression. And while women may seek help more, a touch of the blues will also make us turn our backs to our partner night after night, after night.
Did he get turned down for a promotion? Did his friend just bring home a new BMW while he's barely paying off the Hyundai? Nothing makes a man limper than feeling like he's a failure. Low self-esteem will bring the sexy time to a screeching halt no matter how seductive you try to be.
People will stop stripping down when the pounds creep in. Nothing says "I feel terrible about myself" more than someone who says, "Keep the lights off tonight honey." When you don't feel sexy in your own skin, chances are you won't want to get "jiggy" with anyone. And on the harsher side of this topic, if either one of you have let yourselves go, the sex appeal can go down the drain. Maybe he thinks you've gotten too lax with the cookies, or maybe it's you not looking forward to seeing that bulging beer gut, again.
Nasty little b*tch of an emotion, anger can wedge the greatest wall between a couple. If the tension is thicker than french toast and the remarks are more scaley than a reptile, you are the victim of an angry partner and that can land you in the land of the "sexless" for a long time. This is a most dangerous place for a relationship to be in as built-up resentment is hard to tear down unless both parties are willing to break out the tools and tear the wall down.
No Thank You
Men told me that the most annoying thing on the face of Planet Earth was when a woman acts like she's having sex with you "as a chore or favor." If you're never into it, he'll stop inviting you back to the bedroom. It's possible that maybe you don't want him because he's a crappy lover or incredibly selfish sexually, but either way, the "cold fish" routine feels like the most stinging rejection.
And men aren't the only ones to feel this. Many women I spoke to got sick of initiating sex, feeling as if they just weren't appreciated or loved. After a while, the invitations were rescinded.
While most of the times people aren't out banging the babysitter or handyman, sometimes the lack of sex in your relationship is an indicator that your "Best Mate" is ringing the bell with another person. Before you start to panic and envision your partner with someone else, evaluate the person's other behaviors first.
A Tale of Two Sheets
No matter what the reason for the lack of hanky-panky, assess the situation and open Pandora's box by starting a direct conversation about the matter. You may not like what you hear, but talking about sex is tough and sometimes embarrassing, so don't accuse or get defensive. Use statements like "I feel this way when you do X," rather than "You always do X. You're always X." Talking about it is the only way to clear the air and get you two back to banging like teenagers. Well maybe not that often, but still — the more intimate you are with your partner, the more apt you are to seal that loving bond for life.